Podcast Show #15

The Boiling Frogs Presents Pepe Escobar

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Pepe Escobar shares with us his background and experience as a roving journalist for over three decades. He provides us with an overview of President Obama’s recent trip to China, relevant analysis of ordinary Chinese people’s point of view and reaction, and China’s political and economic position today within the global context. Mr. Escobar discusses energy issues and the current struggle over the resource-rich Central Asia-Caspian regions as the new battle ground for the competing interests of Russia, China, Europe, and the United States, including various strategic alliances currently under way to tap into this oil-gas rich region. He talks about the absence of real coverage of the Eurasia region by the US media, the rarely-discussed and often obscured facts and realities involving the Bagram Prison in Afghanistan, and more!

PepeEscobar Pepe Escobar, born in Brazil is the roving correspondent for Asia Times and an analyst for The Real News Network. He is an investigative journalist with three decades of experience in covering politics and conflicts around the globe. He's been a foreign correspondent since 1985, based in London, Milan, Los Angeles, Paris, Singapore, and Bangkok. Since the late 1990s, he has specialized in covering stories and cases from the Middle East to Central Asia, including the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. He was in Afghanistan and interviewed the military leader of the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance, Ahmad Shah Masoud, a couple of weeks before his assassination. Mr. Escobar has made frequent visits to Iran and is the author of three must-read books: Globalistan: How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War, Red Zone Blues: A Snapshot of Baghdad During the Surge, and Obama Does Globalistan.

Here is our guest Pepe Escobar unplugged!

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  1. Okay, I’m waiting for comments on one of the major revelations in this episode. Peter B & I thought: Explosive!! What do you think?

  2. JamesLaffrey says:

    Wow, it’s a great interview.

    The clarity is wonderful with which Pepe Escobar describes the energy-related war waged by the U.S. in and around Afghanistan. (I say “war waged by the U.S.” because only the U.S. is invading, conquering, and establishing bases – illegal wars of choice.) As Peter B. Collins says, have a map at hand as you listen to Pepe, and if you weren’t clear on U.S. efforts to dominate the region energy-wise, you will be.

    Also, Pepe says: “This brings us to the role of the U.S. corporate press, which is to blind the population to what’s really going on.”

    Most people in the U.S. don’t know what the U.S. is really doing in other countries and how that blows back against the USA. I think the easy examples include countries in which the CIA has conducted terror campaigns, including Iran. Of course, some people — victims of CIA terror — want revenge against the USA, and rightly so.

    Finally, I think a major revelation you (Sibel) refer to is that the U.S. has more than 10,000 prisoners in the Bagram base, according to Pepe. Yet our government continues to lie and say only hundreds of prisoners are there, not thousands.

  3. JamesLaffrey says:

    As we wait for more comments, here’s an aside.

    I’VE BEEN foraging into old posts by Sibel and PODCASTS with PBCollins on PBC’s website. I usually prefer to read transcripts rather than listen because I can read faster than people converse, and I can skip sections that don’t seem important. But lately I’ve had the time to enjoy some podcasts!

    I especially recommend “part 3” with Sibel:
    She speaks of the Deep State here in the USA and includes specific mention of David Rockefeller.

    Thanks to my foraging, my comments here will be better informed as to what Sibel has already written and said publicly. And now, even moreso than before, I find Sibel to be most admirable.

    Lastly: There’s no way to get real change through the tactic of pressuring the current office holders in the U.S. government. WE must force them out – one way or another. Smart and creative ACTIONS are required, both through legal means and public events.

  4. Great interview as usual. As for the explosive info, yeah, that’s a huge number. It’s a really sad and frustrating. You’d think with the trillions in budget the Pentagon has they’d be able to hire the people with the linguistic skills needed and enough people to do the investigating Pepe talks about. I guess they probably think it’s easier to throw them in prison and interrogate them. But it’s insane to me that there are still people there from back at Tora Bora. Why? What are they going to accomplish by keeping them there? I suppose the idea is that if they let them go they’ll probably fight against us, so we plan to just keep them till they die or we leave. That’s sick.

  5. Turkeys resistance regarding global energy interests(pressure)ultimately facilitate the fate of the world. They have become the deep fryer?

  6. Framing the debate: Never has this been more clear than in the present interview with Pepe. It’s the hydrogen, stupid! Geopolitics is fascinating. Reality lies with your local nerds and geeks. Jeremy Rifkin, Roy McAllister, and Justin Sutton are the popularizers of hydrogen. Amory Lovins as a physicist is more of a realist. However, like Richard Scott aka Ishmael – our resident tech geek, I encourage this blog to bring in expertise in hydrogen. For example Justin Kramer is an engineer at FSU/OGZEB who tells me that a major limit to the hydrogen economy are strategic metals such as platinum needed to reform the hydrogen once it is separated from water by solar photovoltaics. FSU chemistry department has devised such a low cost reformer. If we want to live with our global neighbors, then let’s reform our education, invest in research, and stop wasting our capital controlling the world and eliminating 85% of us.

  7. I could have spent hours listening to Pepe. When it comes to Af-Pak-Central Asia: he is simply the best. Now you see why I’m so thrilled to have him on our team?! I’ve been his fan since March-2002 when I discovered him;-)

    Every morning I start my day with…oh well, my ultra-strong coffee, Asia Times and then, Antiwar.Com.

  8. I enjoyed listening to Mr. Escobar. Who are some of the American writers in the blogosphere, to whom he refers at the end of the show?

  9. comrade Maobama article, link here ——> http://www.atimes.com/atimes/China/KK17Ad02.html CHinese what is it, Yuan? an illusion?

  10. Ms Edmonds,

    I drove to DC to show my support for ending wars. I took the opportunity to speak personally with almost all of the speakers including Sen. Mike Gravel, Rep Dennis Kucinich, Chris Hedges who SHOULD BE A REPORTER HERE, Rep Cynthina McKinney, Kathy Kelly, plus Professor William Blum, Wayne Madsen, who were not a speakers.

    I was hoping to speak with you personally about some matters that this nation faces and what we can do. I had expected to see you showing your support for getting out of Afghanistan as you said you would be there in this blog. Were you in disguise?

    How about the commenting on the September October issue of:


  11. Hi Sibel,

    I have been following your personal story for years. I love Boiling Frogs. I’m also a big fan of Pepe Escobar. I’ve been reading his posts on Asia Times about Pipeline-istan. I wrote my own article on this subject which you can find on my blog “Future News Today“.

    I call my article “TAPI? No thanks, I just had lunch.” (I guess Pepe’s sense of humor rubbed off on me.) I have included very useful maps in my article of proposed pipelines and ethnic regions. Here is a brief excerpt.

    So now we’re being told that the Taliban is in Quetta. So naturally the US-UK axis of evil must launch military attacks against the enemy. And of course all of this is being done to protect the “gentle, thoughtful” people of Afghanistan. Yes, of course. It’s simply a coincidence that the proposed TAPI pipeline runs straight through Quetta. Yes, of course.

  12. @FrankHope: Welcome, and hope to see you here regularly. I just finished reading your ‘Mark Twain Responds to Obama…’ piece; good work!

  13. @Sibel: Thank you very much. I’m very honored to receive such high praise from you. I can’t tell you how much I admire your courage to speak out. I just finished listening to part 3 of your interview with Peter B. Collins. That’s the most in depth interview that I have heard you give. Thanks to JamesLaffrey for recommending it.

    I first became familiar with your story about a year ago through the documentary “Kill the Messenger”. It’s people like you that inspire the rest of us, and give all of us the courage to speak up. There is a word that perfectly describes your spirit – ‘implacable’; although ‘indefatigable’ is also a good word. 🙂

  14. Whoa, talk about coming late to the party, Thanks for the interview, Pepe’s voice is one of the few that rings true to me, these days.



    “You tell me that you are going to Fez. Now if you say you are going to Fez, that means that you are not going. But I happen to know that you are going to Fez. Why then do you lie to me, you who are my friend?”
    – (supposed) Moroccan saying. Peter Bowles the source, hence the ‘supposed’ – can’t trust writers. Any writer.

    It was wonderful to discover Pepe Escobar two years ago and enjoy his reports and frequent hilarious jibes at the Neocon-Nazis. The Russian warship Peter the Great visiting Venezuela as the UN was seeing the birth of a multi-polar world while Wall Street ripped off the US with ‘Cash for Trash’ was a particularly good example – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S72gv-DEvAM#t=03m47s

    Pepe is a very amiable presence on video. He is able and he is amusing and most of what he says, or writes, makes sense and is plausible. But then one is asked to believe something that apparently denies the evidence of one’s own eyes. To believe something that is apparently impossible. This works for a while. But if the ‘something’ is so obviously false that the suspension of disbelief cannot be sustained, then all credibility is lost. Along with all previous accepted ‘facts’ and theories.

    This happened with his Iran ‘coloured-revolution’ coverage. He told us that there was no US involvement. He repeated that message. He did it again on this show. At the time of the Iranian election he published _five_ articles in a week in Asia Times all denying that there was any such thing as the US-instigated Iran coloured-revolution, while taking exactly the position that those favoring the coloured-revolution took. Meanwhile the internet audience could see the exact opposite. Clear as day. As one commenter said, it was a ‘credibility suicide’. Five articles in one week, up from a normal one article per week, or fortnight.

    Freedom House – Reich-wing nutjobs
    The internet did a tremendous job of outing and denouncing the US’s involvement. In particular the involvement of the US Freedom House, right-wing nutjob Ackerman and his ‘Crazies in the Basement’ in ‘training’ Iranian coloured-revolution protesters. Plus the ‘twitter’ scam, and finally the (US proxy’s) martyring of a young woman, very photogenically shot dead on camera (by US stooges – Jundallah?).

    To hear Pepe Escobar deny it absolutely was to experience the ‘Double Bubble’ disinformation scam. First one is suckered into believing something unlikely. Then it is disproved and finally the source is discredited as well. So one is left stunned, wondering where one went wrong and what was truth and what lies. ‘Mission accomplished’ for those behind it. A deliberate disinformation technique.

    One then has to revisit all those previous stories – oil wars, oil pipeline routes, Gwador, US designs on Baluchistan, US aims to break up Pakistan and wonder where the truth lay and where the lies. Or one gives up and says “@#$% off, @#$% you and @#$% the horse you rode in on.” Which, again is ‘mission accomplished’ for the Reich-wing. Not so good for democracy, for progressives and for the sane. Kurt Vonnegut explained it well – those behind this are ‘psychopathic personalities’ (PPs). So one needn’t expect mercy, relenting, fair play, or anything except murderous genocide and torture.


    Awaiting moderation.


    Awaiting moderation

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